On March 16, 2023, the Wagner College English department hosted its first in-person open mic poetry event since the Coronavirus pandemic. That Thursday evening before the spring break, students, faculty, and our invited guest poet Jon Sands gathered for pizza, carbonated beverages, poetry, and good vibes. Professor Thomas Fucaloro organized the event, and student Maria-Ioana Andrei served as the MC.
The event kicked off with Jon Sands, who is an accomplish poet and facilitator of the Emotional Historians Workshop in New York. His many publications and artistic endeavors include his book It's Not Magic, published by Beacon Press in 2019. After he read from some of his poems and talked a bit with everyone, then the MC invited the audience to step up to the mic, read their own work, and express themselves.
MC Maria also announced the start of a new creative writing club on campus and invited people to join.
There is some history to this event. The English department began hosting virtual open-mic events on Zoom in the spring of 2021 during the pandemic to celebrate the talent at Wagner, foster diversity, and create a safe space for students to find emotional connection with each during a time when many of us felt isolated. The first open mic was organized by Professor Steven W. Thomas, who invited L. Ash Williams to headline. Since then, it has became a regular event. Accounts of each of the previous open mics can be found in the English News blog [here], [here], and [here].
Here is a photo gallery of several photos from the event.